Action research is a process of asking a question, gather information and collect data, develop changes and implement them, and then share discoveries. Action is a “hand-on” type of research, which can be used by educational administrators and teachers, and can be used by their institutions. This type of research is in contrast to the type of educational research that is purely academic and often qualitative and interpretive. University researchers usually conduct educational research, while practitioners are expected to accept the research findings and put them into practice.
There are several benefits in becoming involved with action research. Administrators as well as teachers can overcome the feelings of “professional isolation”. Principals are often the only person at a campus who holds that “unique position” (Dana 2009). In a personal side note, I am the only teacher in my department and I am the only teacher in my specific building. I often feel isolated and “out of the loop”. Action research can provide opportunities for individuals to come together. Another benefit is where principals and administrators become learners themselves, therefore modeling behavior. A third benefit is that principals and administrators are almost forced to slow down their busy schedules for time to reflect.
I look forward to developing my own action research with my school. I am hoping to learn more about my teaching skills, what my students need from me, and how I can help them become better prepared for their future.
Dana, Nancy Fichtman (2009). Leading with passion and knowledge: The principal as action researcher. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.